questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

itinerary: tokyo+kyoto in 10 days (do i get the jr pass?)

Itinerary: Tokyo+Kyoto in 10 days (do I get the JR Pass?)


It will be my first time going to Japan in October and I will be in Tokyo and Kyoto for about 10 days. Right now, this is my draft itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Haneda at 3pm. - Visit the Meiji Shrine
Day 2: Western Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku)
Day 3: Central Toyko (Akihabara, Ueno, Tuskiji Fish Market)
Day 4: Asakusa, Imperial Palace, Odaiba
Day 5: Kusatsu for Onsen?? or Nikko or Takayama or Kamakura or Hakone (still not sure what to do for this day)
Day 6: Leave early am for Kyoto - Go to Kibune and Kurama
Day 7: Arashiyama - bamboo groove, Tenryuji temple, Togetsukyo bridge, Saga-toriimoto
Day 8: Eastern Kyoto - Higashiyama, Nijo castle, Philosopher's path, Ginkakuji temple, Gion, Imperial Palace, Nishiki market, Fushimi Inari (evening)
Day 9: Nara or Hiroshima or Osaka or Kobe....
Day 10: Leave at 12.30 from Kix, Osaka to Seoul

I can still work with my days because I will be doing 5 days in Seoul before flying back home, so if I need more days in Japan, I could reduce the number of days I will be spending in Seoul.

So, my question here is, would it be worth it to take the 7 days JR Pass or just buying tickets?? I've been checking on Hyperdia but still not sure what to do...
Do you think my itinerary is too packed and that I would have to open to any recommendation
Also, do you have any recommendation for onsen and ryokan in tokyo and kyoto.

I know my questions are pretty long, but I would like to plan my itinerary well and maximize the most I can do. :)

Thank you so much in advance.


Hi there!

I like your ideas and many of the places you wish to visit are some of my personal favourites.
At this point, it would be hard to say for sure whether a JR would be suitable or not. So for know I would recommend finalising your itinerary or at least make a list of the places you wish to visit for sure. This would make it much easier to match a JR Pass to your travel. For instance, if you would visit Nikko and Hiroshima, then you would make amazing savings with the JR Pass. However if you just stick to Tokyo - Kyoto with a stop in between, then it may be better to purchase normal tickets.

For Onsen, Nikko, Takayma and Hakone all of great onsen and I am sure that you will have a great time at each of these places. The problem is that they are all great places to visit. I think Takayama would take up to much travel time though, for just a day visit. Nikko and especially Hakone would be better suited in terms of travel time.
Kurama (in Kyoto) also has a very nice onsen, you could just go there and spend a little extra time in Kyoto.

Hope this helps!

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